Castle & Kingdom Press Release

2 (2)Let’s face it, there are a lot of playing cards on the market but none seem to offer anything new.  We decided it was time to shake things up!

Castle & Kingdom is a beautiful set of custom drawn playing cards designed by Alexander Skachkov. Unlike other playing decks that use tired square faced designs for every suit, Castle & Kingdom illustrates characters that masterfully reflect their position within a specific kingdom!  From Hearts portraying romance and the true stature of the royal court, to Clubs who rule the forest and the Kingdom of Nature, every card tells a unique story of fantasy and fairy tales.  These high quality cards are made in the USA and play as good as they look.

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You can see more of Castle & Kingdom on Kickstarter at http://kck.st/1oU4VA5

Issue #216 – Should I Buy Battle at Kemble’s Cascade?

 

The Best in Board Games – In 5 Minutes or Less!
Aug 27, 2014 – Issue #216

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Giveaways, specials, and freebies
KICKSTARTER CORNER

In the Game

Reviews, previews, walkthroughs, and more…
Today In Board Games Is:Roger Hicks (Editor)
Charlie Ecenbarger (Contributor)
Michelle Mazala (Contributor)
Chris Meeusen (Contributor)
Diana Echevarria (Communications)

Articles

Interviews, strategies, and opinions

Should I Buy This?


Battle at Kemble’s Cascade (2014)
Publisher:
 Z-Man Games
Details: 2-5 Players, 75 Minutes
Surveyed Gamers Say:
0.00% Own and Love
42.86% Plan to Buy
28.57% Will Try It First
28.57% Might Play It
0.00% It Wasn’t for Me
0.00% Not Interested

Buy This If You Like:
Galaxy Trucker

Links:
Board Game Geek
Funagain
 ($39.99 pre-order)

 

Coming Next Issue

Tiny Epic Kingdoms
What are your thoughts on this game? Give us your opinion!

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Issue #215 – The Pirate Deck

 

The Best in Board Games – In 5 Minutes or Less!
Aug 25, 2014 – Issue #215

TOP NEWS

Listen Up!

Today in Board Games
Week in Review Podcast
#36 – Jason Huffman / 1750: Britain vs. France

HOT DEALS

Giveaways, specials, and freebies
KICKSTARTER CORNER

In the Game

Reviews, previews, walkthroughs, and more…
Today In Board Games Is:Roger Hicks (Editor)
Charlie Ecenbarger (Contributor)
Michelle Mazala (Contributor)
Chris Meeusen (Contributor)
Diana Echevarria (Communications)

The Pirate Deck

Project image
The Pirate Deck is a light family-friendly card game where players send pirates to board a derelict ship and collect the treasures aboard. Innovative gameplay involves playing pirate cards to the deck of the ship to match up coin symbols between two cards allowing the player to score treasure. One-off action cards, immediate effects, and ship modifications add to the variety creating a fun quick game that can be enjoyed by gamers of all ages. You can pick up your copy of The Pirate Deck on Kickstarter now for just $12!

Articles

Interviews, strategies, and opinions

Should I Buy This?

Coming Next Issue

Battle at Kemble’s Cascade
What are your thoughts on this game? Give us your opinion!

BOARD BUSINESS

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Nightlight Press Release

Duel of the Magi Press Release

1Duel of the Magi (DOM)

A new kind of deck-builder from CoolNerdGames launching on Kickstarter on September 2nd.

Jared Misner and Brent Condreay, are coming to Kickstarter to seek funding for their new game, Duel of the Magi. Game lovers familiar with the deck-building game Dominion and the dueling mechanics of Magic: The Gathering will feel right at home playing DOM.

Duel of the Magi has been vigorously play tested by more than 30 people, and it will launch on Kickstarter with plenty of custom artwork and graphic design to show what the finished product will look like. The Kickstarter campaign will feature the game at $49, including free shipping to individuals in the US, Canada, and the UK, with heavily discounted shipping to the rest of the European Union. Duel of the Magi comes with a money-back guarantee to all Kickstarter backers.

As a special funding level, the creators are allowing the community backing the project the ability to assist with choosing the artwork for the remaining 38 spells.

About the game:

Duel of the Magi is a deck-building game that combines fantasy board games, drafting, and TCG fighting mechanics for a complete and unique experience. Players start by choosing one of the four magi classes, each of which have a unique ability to be used during the game. While taking turns players choose sets of spells to include or exclude in the game. Once this phase is complete, the chosen cards of each spell type are then shuffled together and placed on the board in the appropriately labeled spots. Staged face-up, the cards are drafted one at a time from the board as each player builds their own customized deck of spells. Once deck building is complete, the game board is flipped over to the dueling ground side and players engage in a spell casting fight to determine the winner. Part of the dueling strategy is gamesmanship in the form of alliances and negotiations. Do what you must to ensure you survive to the end.

Episode #36 – Jason Huffman / 1750: Britain vs. France

Week in Review is a podcast from Today in Board Games. It summarizes the top news stories from the week and digs a little deeper with interviews, reviews, and more. In today’s episode:

I interview Jason Huffman of Battle Hardened Games. Jason’s project 1750: Britain vs. France is on Kickstarter now.

We would love your feedback on this episode! Please leave a comment here or visit us in ITunes and give us a rating and review!

Issue #214 – One Zero One Interview; Nautilus Industries Review

 

The Best in Board Games – In 5 Minutes or Less!
Aug 22, 2014 – Issue #214

TOP NEWS

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MinisterofBoardGames

Get Your Hashtag On

Here’s this week’s upcoming twitter chats hosted by the Ministry of Board Games:

#BoardGameHour – Monday August 25th at, 2pm Eastern Time, 7pm UK
Topic –  Micro Games Brief outline –  Does size really matter? How big is the design? Is this a trend that is set to last?
September is nominations month for the #boardgamehour awards starting on the 1st and runs for 5 weeks. Each week the topic will be based on the award category and towards the end of the hour we will open the nominations process. We will take suggestions for nominations for the rest of the week using #BghAwards, switching to the next category at the start of the next #boardgamehour
#BoardGameHour – Monday September 1st at, 2pm Eastern Time, 7pm UK
Topic –  The “Game Changer” Brief outline –  We will be discussing the #boardgamehour award for Innovation in Board Gaming. What should the criteria be, what games should be nominated? 
#BoardGameHour – Monday September 8th at, 2pm Eastern Time, 7pm UK
Topic –  “I Want More – Brief outline –  We will be discussing the #boardgamehour award for Best Re-playability. What should the criteria be, what games should be nominated? 
#BoardGameHour – Monday September 15th at, 2pm Eastern Time, 7pm UK
Topic –  “Head in the Game – Brief outline –   We will be discussing the #boardgamehour award for most immersive game. What should the criteria be, what games should be nominated?
#BoardGameHour – Monday September 22nd at, 2pm Eastern Time, 7pm UK
Topic –  “Try it, you might like it” Brief outline –   We will be discussing the #boardgamehour award for best introductory game. What should the criteria be, what games should be nominated?
#BoardGameHour – Monday September 29th at, 2pm Eastern Time, 7pm UK
Topic –  “Card Board & Dice Propaganda” Brief outline –  We will be discussing the #boardgamehour award for best board game media. What should the criteria be, what games should be nominated? http://nurph.com/BoardGameHour/chats/669

In the Game

Reviews, previews, walkthroughs, and more…

Listen Up!

Today in Board Games Week in Review Podcast#35 – Chris Batarlis – Secrets of the Lost Tomb

TiBG Designer Interview Series

David Harding – One Zero One

“Whenever I sit down to design or make anything, I need to give myself boundaries. A blank canvas is just too open. It makes my brain hurt! So I restrict the tools at my disposal to funnel my thinking. At the time I designed One Zero One I had been playing a lot of abstract games, especially Kamisado, Gipf, Yinsh, Zertz, and Go. I found myself enchanted by these games with maybe two or three basic rules but that definitely seemed to take a lifetime to master. There was just so much game in those black and white pieces!….” (read the rest)

Articles

Interviews, strategies, and opinions

Buy-Low Sell-High

A review of “Nautilus Industries” – By Michelle Mazala

I have a lot of good things to say about Nautilus Industries. It’s neither too heavy nor too light and when playing with 5 or fewer players it doesn’t overstay its welcome. The choices are meaningful and the order in which actions are taken and executed matters…..(read the rest)

Designer Wisdom

Curated By Cardboard Edison

BOARD BUSINESS

Articles for designers, publishers, and other industry professionals
Today In Board Games Is:Roger Hicks (Editor) Charlie Ecenbarger (Contributor) Michelle Mazala (Contributor) Chris Meeusen (Contributor) Diana Echevarria (Communications)
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Mafioso: The Underworld Press Release

mafioso rotateMafioso: The Underworld – Gangster Strategy Card Game Orders Hit On Gen Con

Kickstarter-funded game of cards and dice set in the seedy world of organized crime ready for Gen Con debut

Hull, UKIndependent games publisher, Omerta Game Ltd, is excited to announce that ‘meaner than chess’ mafia-themed strategy card game, Mafioso: The Underworld, will be making its Gen Con debut at this years convention in Indianapolis.

Created by Lafayette, Indiana brothers Matt and Drew Gould, Mafioso: The Underworldis a fast-paced game of cards and dice set in the seedy world of organized crime.

Two-to-five players must compete to build the most lucrative criminal empire while preventing their opponents from doing the same thing. The goal of Mafiosois to be the Crew with the most valuable Empire on the table at the end of the game, for only the crew with the most lucrative Empire will be chosen by Big Sal to remain a part of the Gouldini Crime Family, and the rest will be ‘fed to the fishes.’

Mafioso players navigate a variety of obstacles and Wiseguy’s on their quest for wealth and power. With a massive selection of crew members, racketeering options and all-out criminal wars encompassing over 120 colour printed cards, no two rounds of Mafioso, which average 1-2 hours of playtime, are ever the same.

When the going gets gritty and the mean streets of Mafioso need painting red, opposing players attack each other directly using dice and strategic modifiers. To keep the pace tense, Rat cards are added to the deck as the game progresses – a threat to every Crew on the table. Nobody likes a dirty, stinkin’ rat.

From Bedroom to Gen Con 2014

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Mafioso: The Underworld’s journey to Gen Con 2014 is a surprising success story.

Creators Matt & Drew Gould of Ghoul Enterprises originally envisioned their murky mafia underworld as a board game before realising the design of Mafioso was perfectly suited for a strategy card game.

Following an unsuccessful Kickstarter attempt in 2011, the Gould brothers continued refining Mafioso as a hobby and reassessed their pitch for a much improved Kickstarter campaign the following year.

Omerta Game Ltd CEO, Steve Biddick, discovered the game by chance while searching Kickstarter and it instantly demanded his attention.

“The game looked interesting but what really caught my attention was the graphical similarity of their ‘hatted O’ logo to our own at Omerta,” says an enthusiastic Biddick, I thought that was cute – I identified.”

An ardent fan of old-school mafia culture, Biddick instantly backed the campaign. When the chance to become more involved presented itself he jumped at the opportunity.

When it looked like the bid was not going to make it’s target, I got in touch with the creators and found out a whole lot more about their game – it seemed like a really great concept so I asked for an advance copy and we at Omerta decided to make sure the Kickstarter was a success.

Omerta Game Limited’s pedigree with mafia inspired games makes them the perfect partner for Ghoul Enterprises, having developed and published the hugely successful free-to-play mafia MMORPG, Omerta (www.barafranca.com), for an impressive 10 years and counting.

The partnership has led to the joint publication of an Omerta-branded version of Mafioso: The Underworld – the version that will be proudly flaunted at this year’s sold-out Gen Con in the Gould’s home town of Indiana.

“Mafioso is the only game in the universe that’s meaner than chess!”, claims Steve Biddick, “Don’t believe me, wise guy? Come meet me at Gen Con, I’ll be happy to show you how the streets of Mafioso really work”

Distributors and shop owners attending Gen Con who are interested in hearing more about Mafioso: The Underworld are encouraged to contact Steve Biddick for a meeting.

Mafioso: The Underworld is currently available via Amazon, priced $18.49.

Contacts:

About Omerta Game Ltd

Set up on a shoestring by Steve Biddick in 2003, Omerta Game Ltd took a Dutch teenager’s bedroom project and turned it into an established brand in the genre of Mafia themed games – Omerta: www.barafranca.com

Omerta retains the independent, volunteer-lead ethos of an online community and is an innovator with a highly-original, much copied product that lead the way in the now burgeoning ‘free-to-Play’ movement of web-games.

Now translated into 30 languages, Omerta is a colossal project that takes 200 full-time, long term game administrators to manage and numbers over a million words of Mafia-themed text. It is produced in a studio in Hull, UK, with regional offices in Amsterdam, Lisbon, Istanbul, Finland and Hong Kong.

Omerta Game Ltd continues to produce innovative titles for web and mobile, such as casual business simulation game www.tycoononline.com and intuitive upcoming task manager www.canyudoo.com

Mafioso: The Underworld represents Omerta’s exciting first steps into physical manufacturing.

Links

Fish Cook Press Release

CrossPlatformPlayThe Fish Cook Digital Version will feature new high-resolution images, music and iOS/Android cross-platform play.

Additionally, the game is designed to be played like a physical tabletop game. A single person purchases the Fish Cook Digital Version and allows others to join the game using the free Jovios Controller. This controller allows you to view your own hidden-hand information and review playable actions while other chefs are taking their turns.

fishcookprintFish Cook the Board Game is an economic strategy game in which you play as French chefs in 1909. Vie to become the best chef by cooking exquisite fish recipes, earning money and gaining prestige. The strategy of the game revolves around spending your money wisely and managing risk.

I hope that Fish Cook has whet your appetite to learn more about digitized tabletop apps and that you will consider featuring our project. More details can be found on ourKickstarternow over 50% funded!

Nautilus Industries – An Engaging Buy-Low, Sell-High Economic Game

Nautilus Industries, designed by Leif Steiestol and published by Lamp Light Games, is a game of worker placement, timing the market, and buying stocks for 2-6 players.

The game is currently seeking funding via Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/112392540/nautilus-industries

The Kickstarter campaign is scheduled to end on September 4, 2014.

Image credit: Mike Friesen

“In Nautilus Industries, players will take on the role of a business owner who seeks their fortune at the bottom of the sea. Word has spread of the riches that can be gathered from the depths, and the race to mine these rare earth elements has begun!”

OVERVIEW

Nautilus Industries is an engaging buy-low, sell-high economic game that involves the acquisition of gems, correct timing of the selling of these gems, and a bit of “screw you” opportunities to thwart other players’ attempts to acquire and sell.

I liked Nautilus Industries quite a lot and think it’s a great pick for gamers who are looking for a medium-weight economic game.

COMPONENTS

Components List

Inside the box you’ll find:
– 1 stock market & commodity values market board
– 30 stock certificates (6 certificates for the 5 different companies)
– 6 ocean tiles (Use 1 tile per player)
– 6 player mats (Use 1 mat per player)
– 6 six-sided dice (Use 1 die per player)
– 18 subs (3 subs per player)
– 1 starting player token
– 1 drawstring bag
– Gems (equally distributed between 5 colors)
– Coins
– Rulebook


Image credit: Mike Friesen

I cannot comment on the quality of the components, as I received a prototype. The artwork of the prototype had issues pertaining to color (sometimes it was hard to see components because they blended in with the board, and it was confusing that the same colors were used often to represent different things) and size (the prices on the stock certificates are hard to read) but these issues have been discussed in other reviews and I mentioned them to the publisher at his booth at Gen Con. My conversation with the publisher indicated artwork is likely to be tweaked.

Quality of components may improve depending on the amount of Kickstarter funding received.

The rulebook is clearly written. I was able to understand the game after one read-through, and rarely had to reference it during the games I played.

Stock Market & Commodity Values Market Board

Image credit: Mike Friesen

The objective of Nautilus Industries is to accumulate the most money by the end of the game. When the game ends, you will add up all of your points from the following:

  • All money currently on your player mat
  • The immediate sale of all gems that you currently have and can acquire before the entire round ends, at the prices in the Commodity Values market price section (top half of the board)
  • The sale of all stock certificates you have, by multiplying the number of shares you have by the multiplier in the Stock Chart (bottom half of the board).

So, for example, if you have 4 black gems remaining and black is priced at $7/gem, you would acquire $28.


Image credit: Mike Friesen

And if you have 2 shares of Green stock, and the Green multiplier is x5, you would acquire $10.

GAME PLAY

Setup

1 Ocean tile is used for each person playing the game. So if there are 3 players, 3 Ocean tiles will be placed on the table. The Ocean tiles, pictured below, will have 5 gems randomly put on each of them at the start of each round (and will also include any gems leftover from previous rounds). Players primarily earn money by sending workers (called “subs” in this game) to retrieve up to two gems per worker, with the option of paying $5 for an upgrade to retrieve a third gem.


Image credit: Mike Friesen

Flow of Play

There are a handful of actions a player may take on their turn:

  • Send a sub out to a board to retrieve gems (optional: Pay $5 for an upgrade)
  • Move gems between the boards
  • Change the order of the board tiles
  • Upgrade your warehouse capacity by +1 (the warehouse determines how many gems you can store)
  • Use money to buy a stock certificate for one of the 5 companies

Every round players get exactly 3 turns (no passing allowed).

After everyone takes their 3 actions, then the Market Phase begins. For each board:

  • Gems are acquired and either sold for money or stored
  • Company stock prices and gem prices are adjusted

After the Market Phase, players prepare for the next round by adding more gems to the board.

This entire series of events is repeated until a stock value reaches the x10 space on the Stock Chart (bottom half of the board).

That’s pretty much the game. It’s definitely easy to teach.

CONCLUSIONS

Timing, timing, timing: Timing is everything in Nautilus Industries!

  • Stock certificates are limited, so you want to buy them before your opponents buy them all.
  • Gems are acquired in a certain order, so if you place a sub too early or in a place that is resolved later in the Market Phase, the other players can reduce the number of gems available to you
  • Gems are sold in a certain order. Gem prices rise if none are sold (scarcity and more market supply-and-demand), so you may want to wait a couple of rounds before selling your gems. But prices decrease when gems are sold (representing market supply-and-demand), so if you hold on to your gems for too long, you may find they are worth nothing later. You can also effectively screw other players by selling your gems at an unexpected time so THEIR gems are worth nothing later.
  • Players can change the order of Ocean tiles, leading you to acquire gems earlier or later than you anticipated in the Market phase, which will affect the amount of money you get for your gems.

The timing of actions and selling is really important in this game, which makes it so intriguing. This is definitely a game where you have to pay attention to what other players are doing, which is something I really appreciate (I’m not so much a fan of games that seem like solo adventures where everyone tends to their own tableau).

Almost no random elements: Luck doesn’t play a part in Nautilus Industries. Gems are drawn randomly from a bag at the start of each round, but the information is public knowledge to everyone before they take actions, and the draw of gems affects everyone at the table the same.

Fun theme: I personally liked the fact that we were acquiring and selling gems, and I liked the marine elements. The theme wasn’t a huge part of the game, but it didn’t feel entirely pasted on either.

Doesn’t work well with 6 players: I had fun with the 6-player games I played, but each player adds more bookkeeping during the Market Phase and that gets a little tiring. I wouldn’t really recommend Nautilus Industries for larger groups.

Some analysis paralysis: Because timing is so important, players will spend some time considering their options. The amount of time needed depends on the player, obviously, but this might not be the fastest economic game you’ve ever played.

Some interaction: The level of interaction between players is what you want it to be. Some of my fellow players took antagonistic approaches and tried to stop others from acquiring useful resources. Others chose to be passive and tried not to sabotage their fellow players, choosing to focus on maximizing their own funds instead. Both approaches are valid.

Good replayability: Some games feel like they play themselves on autopilot. Nautilus Industries was different each time I played it, where the choices weren’t obvious and I had to consider my moves. It isn’t a game that gets old quickly or feels too repetitive.

RECOMMENDATION

I have a lot of good things to say about Nautilus Industries. It’s neither too heavy nor too light and when playing with 5 or fewer players it doesn’t overstay its welcome. The choices are meaningful and the order in which actions are taken and executed matters. Nautilus Industries will definitely hit my table again in the future, and I feel confident recommending it to gamers.

By |August 21st, 2014|Review|2 Comments